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Grabbing Some Grub

Settled into the house and headed out to Downtown Disney to get some
food at Planet Hollywood. We haven't eaten since breakfast this
morning, so we're absolutely starving!

Backseat Buddies

Lexie has FINALLY settled and laid down. Normally with each bump in
the road or roar of the engine she stands up, but I guess she finally
got tired.
Here is Natalie and Lexie enjoying a road trip.

Goodbye Pensacola

We stopped this morning to gas up before hitting the road. This was
the view from the gas station.


On our way.

Decided to leave 10 hours early. Ruben has some Marriott Reward points
that we'll use for a room in Pensacola. We were getting too anxious to
start our vacation to wait till early tomorrow morning. We hit a nice
spout of rain on our way out of town - which is good cause our grass
needed the water.


Vacation Friday

Woohoo! It's vacation Friday. The Friday before vacation begins. We've got a busy weekend ahead of us prepping and packing for our trip. We'll be leaving about 3:00 am Monday morning. While I'm super excited about the trip, I'm bummed that I didn't get my Durango back in time.

I called the dealership yesterday to find out if by some miracle I'd have my car today. I was informed that they had gotten the instrument cluster panel in, however the part was bad. So now they are waiting on a new part to come in. Hopefully one that works! I have no clue as to when they might receive the part, because once again the payment for the part must be approved for by the government.

Another vacation bummer - I didn't lose the 10 pounds I had hoped for. I did however lose enough weight to be back where I was before Ruben's mom came, so that's the bright side of it all. In truth it's all my own fault. My friend Arlene, whom I was walking regularly with had surgery on the 10th and has been on rest orders. I should have pushed myself to go alone, but it's just not the same. Hopefully when I return on the 8th we will begin our walks again. God knows that after Disney I will need to do something, cause they just have way too many yummy treats there to be good and stick to a "diet".

Was yesterday not a completely devastating day? The mass coverage of Michael Jackson's death practically took down the web. The whole ordeal completely overshadowed the death of Farrah Faucet! It was madness. I was waiting at the pharmacy when I read reports of his cardiac arrest on Twitter. Before TMZ confirmed his death, I was on the phone telling Ruben I thought he was dead. The fact that he wasn't breathing when the ambulance was called, and that a photog was threatened when trying to get a picture of him being rolled into the hospital, told me that things were real bad.
If you're on Twitter, did you catch all the RT's of the shameful post Perez Hilton made about Jackson before he found out the entertainer had died? Once it was official, Perez had removed the post. You can see a screen shot of it here. I swear Perez is a douce bag. There is a petition going around to remove Perez Hilton as Teen Choice 2009 Nominee. You can sign it here. Nobody who posts the content he does, nor uses the hateful words he spews, should be considered for an award at a show aimed at kids. HE IS NOT A ROLE MODEL! There are a few other petitions going around calling for his site to be shut down and such. Check out the article from Hollyscoop.

Right now I'm waiting for the press conference from the coroner's office to begin. E! News has a live feed going, but it looks like it might be awhile before we get the results of his autopsy, as the conference has been delayed again for another 2 hours.
I've been paying bills and taking care of other business online while I waited. While on vacation, I don't want to have to get online cause I have to. I'll only do it if I want to, and have the down time to do so. Likely, I will be posting pictures from my phone - maybe making a blog entry or two, as well. I love having a phone that is capable of doing so much! Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without it. LOL.

It looks like Ruben may be returning to school this fall. That is IF everything works out. He's gotten some info, applied to a couple schools, and submitted his app for a Federal student loan. We gotta wait and see if his loan is approved. Otherwise he'll have to take one class at a time, as money permits. Right now the loan isn't even our biggest concern, it's the fact that ITT cannot locate his transcripts. The campus he attended in Vegas closed awhile back, and for some reason ITT cannot locate the transcripts in their system. He has a copy somewhere around here, but the transcripts must come directly from the school in order to be accepted. So it doesn't much matter that we can't find his copy. We did find his actual degree, which he is going to have to fax over to ITT as proof. We'll just have to see whether it helps any or not. Cross your fingers!


Pictures from the Party

I posted 30-plus pictures from the birthday party we went to yesterday afternoon. You can find them at Flickr, just click on the link to take you there.


Blog Block

Have you ever gone over in your head, a topic you wanted to post about? You get it all planned out, yet when you sit down to type it all up you draw nothing but a blank. That's the way I've been feeling lately. Each time I've sat down to post, my mind just goes blank. Nada, zip, nothing. All I can come up with are ramblings of various odds and ends. So I guess I'll start with that.

Today is the end of my mother-in-law's 3 week visit with us. Her flight leaves at 6 something. These past 3 weeks have went much too fast! I know Ruben is going to be heart broken come tomorrow. The only upside is perhaps I will once again lose weight. The past 2 weeks I've been unable to lose a single pound. In fact I gained 2! I was hoping to be another 15 pounds lighter by our Disney trip in 9 days. It's going to be hard, but I think I might be able to drop 9 if I walk a lot before we leave. Of course I'm likely to gain some of it back while on vacation, but that's ok cause I'm not going to worry about anything except having fun!

Tomorrow we've got to get Ruben's student loan app submitted. He's put off going back to school long enough, so now he's just going to have to buckle down and make the time to do it this fall. We would really like for him to advance further into upper management, and to do that he needs to get his bachelors. The one thing holding him back has been the funds. We both hate the idea of debt, but really who has tens of thousands of dollars to pay upfront? We also need to find out what credits of his associates will transfer over. Some schools like UoP won't accept his credits from ITT, which I think is total bullshit. So he may end up returning to ITT if Tulane or Delgado won't accept them.

Have you seen Benjamin Button yet? We've already watched it twice now, and I have to say that this movie has made me a Brad Pitt fan. Sure I've liked some of his other films, and sure there are a few scenes in BB that appear to be just a bit overly photoshopped. Specifically where made to make Pitt appear younger. But it was this particular film that made me appreciate Pitt for his beauty, though he's had a body of a god for just about all of his films - and he's looked better in some flicks than he has in others. I think I may just have to go back and re-watch some of his prior work now that I can appreciate his, um, talent.
Also, I'm curious, has anyone else been experiencing problems with IE not being able to open certain sites, aborting the operation? I've been having this problem off and on for several weeks with several of the blogs I follow. It's extremely frustrating and I don't know how to fix it. I ran a Google search on it and it seems this problem has been going on for quite a long time. It's a totally annoying pain in the ass! It's really cutting into my blog surfing time.
Ok, well it's off to the showers for me. We have a birthday party to go to later this afternoon before we take ma to the airport. Hope everyone has a great weekend and awesome Father's Day!



We're all piled in the car and heading to Mo's for a late lunch.
According to the car's thermometer it's 100 here in New Orleans. And
this doesn't even factor in the humidty! Hot damn!


Pictures from the Quarter

Yesterday we took my MIL down to the French Market to do some shopping, which I saw as an opportunity to finally put my new camera to use. I didn't get to snap everything I would have liked, cause it was hotter than hell out and all that walking around was tiring.

I have tried several times to post the pix below, but damn Blogger won't load most of the images. So I guess you'll have to go check them out at Flickr. Some images I processed using Coffee Shop actions, others I left alone. I still have LOTS to learn about using my new camera. Let me know what you think.


So Far, So Good

Yesterday I met with my oncologist to get the results from my 6 month follow-up chest, abdomen, & pelvic CT scan that I had done on Tuesday. Ordinarily I would have had a PET scan done, but my PPO turned it down cause there was no evidence of recurrence - which I find pretty fucked up, since the test is what's used to detect and determine recurrence. Besides, I would think that since I have already had a recurrence, that that in itself would justify the need for the scan. So they denied the test, and instead I had the CT scans done.
I wasn't really sure what I was in for as I've never had an abdomen CT scan done before. I've had enough chest CT scans done before to know all about the nuclear contrast. But with an abdomen scan you have to drink this very disgusting crap called barium. It's like drinking cold Milk of Magnesia. It's basically a near-flavorless, creamy, chalky liquid. It's bad enough they make you fast for these tests, but then to make you drink 12 ounces of this goo is damn near torturous. Making matters worse was the fact that a transformer near the hospital blew, causing the power to go out. Luckily the CT machine was running off a generator, cause man would I have been pissed off if I fasted and drank this crap all to have to do it another day when the power was back. But since the power went out, the hospital was all backed up. I was there for over 2 hours.
Normally I don't handle these types of test all that well. Any time I have to get an IV, I damn near freak out. My veins are in such bad shape, it makes it very difficult to find one and get it working right. Usually it takes multiple attempts, and the more they stick me the more I freak out. So usually taking these tests require a Zanax, which means I get stupid, which means it would be best if Ruben were to take me. But he was out of town this week. He's been traveling a lot for work the last few weeks. I didn't want to put the test off, cause the anxiety of waiting and worrying is just as bad as the whole IV thing. So I braved it alone this time, and I survived. Was it a better experience than past attempts? A bit, but it still wasn't very pleasant. I was fortunate enough to get a good nurse who really took her time finding a spot before attempting to stick me.
Ok, so my test results came back with no evidence of any distant or metastatic disease. The only thing that showed up were some cysts on my liver, which my doctor says is of no consequence. I asked him if he was absolutely sure, given the fact that my mother died from end-stage liver cirrhosis. He assured me that as of now the cysts are completely harmless. Besides, he'll see if there are any changes when I have my follow-up scans done in 6 months. Then he ordered some blood tests and sent me on my way.
It's a HUGE relief to verify that I am still cancer free. I'm trying to think how long exactly I've been cancer free. My recurrence was found in February 2008. I had surgery done in March to remove some of the chest wall area where the tumor was found. In April, I had had a PET scan done to determine if there was any metastatic disease present - which came back clear. My follow-up PET scan done at the end of December also came back clear. So technically speaking, I've been cancer free for just over a year now. But in terms of remission when it comes to oncology, I'm not really sure cause I didn't finish radiation until August, and I didn't start on Tamoxifen till January 2009. A year sounds so much better than just 6 months, but I'm pretty sure it comes down to the 5 years on Tamoxifen. In any case I'll just be happy to make it past 3 years without another recurrence!

Oh, I also want to share a link I found with y'all. The site is called F My Life, and some of the stories shared there are just so freaken hilarious. You have to go check it out. I promise you that you'll be LOL and ROFL. So enjoy! The link is above as well as in the sidebar.



Oh goody. After fasting for hours I get to drink this nasty, chalky
crap. Then I get an injection of some nuclear meds. This CT scan is


Chrysler is Making me CRAZY!

I am so unbelievably fed up with Chrysler, I swear I could seriously maim someone. If you recall back in May my dash literally fried. Causing my instrument cluster to go out and my wipers to permanently stay on. Well my Durango has been sitting at Bergeron Chrysler Jeep Volvo for a month now waiting to be repaired. The instrument cluster was part of a factory recall - one that had already been performed back in 2006.
Anyway, given Chrysler's financial problems of late, they are having some serious problems getting parts manufactured because they owe all their suppliers money. In my case there is only one company that makes the instrument cluster, and because of slow or non-payment on Chrysler's behalf this company refuses to manufacture the part until they get paid either some or all of what is owed to them. I had hopes that perhaps Chrysler could just pay in advance or C.O.D. for the cluster panel, but I was shot down when I called Chrysler. You would think they would want to hurry this along as they've already paid some $900 this past month for my rental. But since Chrysler is receiving rescue money from the government in addition to having filed bankruptcy, all payments must go through and be approved by the government. And no one even knows when they will start releasing payments or in what order they will be made. I have no clue when I could possibly get my Durango back, and I am beyond pissed.
When I called Chrysler on Friday to ask if they could possibly pay for the part in advance, I was told that Chrysler will only pay $20 a day for any rental that is not a Chrysler product, but if I could get switched over to a Chrysler vehicle they would pay up to $40 a day. At the time I had been in a Chevy Silverado for about 2 weeks and was furious at the thought that I might have to pay out of pocket for any overages. I had to call Enterprise and ask for a different vehicle cause I didn't want to be responsible for any charges, and I certainly didn't want to be put in some sub-compact piece of crap. Enterprise worked things out so I wouldn't have to pay any out of pocket, and they found a Jeep Commander that fit within the $40 a day. The Jeep is a bit better cause at least it's the same size as my Durango, which we'll need for our trip to Disney as I don't think I'll be getting my car back in time. In fact I wonder if I'll even be getting it back this year.
Oh, and if you're wondering what I get for my inconvenience? Not a damn thing. No oil change or tire rotation, no replacement key that I need that costs $200, not a single thing. They made it sound like I'm privileged just cause they are paying for the rental car upfront, even though the rental is part of my ESP contract. Could you imagine if I were still making car payments on it? Paying for something I can't even use, something that is just sitting at the dealers collecting dust. It makes me so freaken angry! I can't wait to buy a new car - and I'll tell you after all this crap, there is no way I'd ever buy another Chrysler product again. And you can almost certainly forget about that Chevy Tahoe or Camaro I want since GM just filed bankruptcy. It won't be long until they experience the same problems getting parts. This whole freaken economic crisis has really fucked everything up, hasn't it?

My New Camera

Here's the new Nikon D5000 camera Ruben bought me. Like my camera strap? I picked it up last week at Bennet's Camera. I can't wait to take it out to City Park and snap some pictures.



Today is my monthly follow up visit at the weight loss clinic, and
while I've only lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks for a total of 17
pounds in a month, I did lose several inches. I lost 2 inches total
from each of the following areas: biceps, bust, waist, hips, thighs,
and calves. Plus 4 inches from around my upper belly. I'm down about 4
pant sizes, they fit a tad snug but the next size up is much too big.
I still have a minimum of 30 more pounds that I'd like to lose, though
65 is the goal. Losing 30 will put me back at the size I was when I
moved here.
Since the beginning of March I have managed to lose 25 pounds. Now the
question is will I be able to continue to lose weight and can I take
off another 15 before Disney? Guess it's time to stop cheating and
start working out more.


"Whoever said winning isn't everything never had to fight cancer"


Sent from my iPhone


A little of this, a little of that, a whole lotta post....

Well, here it is - the start of summer vacation. More than two whole months of no school, cause down here there is no such thing as year round school. So for those of you with kids who are out for the summer, what are your plans for summer break? We don't have much planned really, and luckily I don't work, so there's no child care issues like some families have.

Right now the plan is just to enjoy our 3 weeks with my Mother-in-Law, who safely landed late Saturday evening. After much hard work busting our asses, we managed to pretty thoroughly clean our house before she arrived. If we hadn't cleaned up, I guarantee you that she'd be spending her whole vacation here cleaning. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of a vacation, right? As it is, she's been cooking up a storm, which is making it extremely difficult to eat right.

In the last week, I've cheated quite a bit - we went to see Night at the Museum last Friday and I drank half a large soda and enjoyed a cinnamon pretzel. Then for dinner I had a hamburger at this awesome burger joint. And now she's here cooking things like rice, beans, tacos, and other delightful Mexican dishes. I'm trying hard not to over-do it, but it's not easy. I try to treat myself just a bit. I've not been able to lose any weight this past week, but I have been fortunate enough not to have gained any back. Not helping matters any is the 24 pack of Coke bottles I found at Sam's Club. I kicked my daily soda habit, only indulging in an occasional drink. But I have such a love of soda from actual glass bottles, that it was impossible for me to pass them up at Sam's. So for the time being, I'm not to having more than one a day if even that.

Did y'all watch the MTV Movie Awards? The part where Bruno (a.k.a Sasha Baron Cohen) landed bare-butt in the face of Eminem was funny as all hell. That is until I found out the whole thing was staged.
I truly think that was the best moment of the night, though the much anticipated trailer of New Moon was right up there with it. So far New Moon looks to be done up a bit better than Twilight was, though I must say that the werewolf is a bit disappointing as it looks a bit cartoonish. What did you think of it?

I found the rest of the awards disappointing. Yeah, I liked the movie Twilight, but Dark Knight should have won the award for best movie hands down. Twilight isn't even in the same league as Dark Knight. So how that crappy little low budget flick beat out the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time is beyond me.

Monday afternoon I got the camera of my dreams. My wonderful hubby decided out of the blue that I should get the camera that I've been wanting for the last couple years. He bought me a Nikon D5000 12.3mp DSLR. It is so awesome, and I have so much to learn about using it. The package we bought came with 2 Nikon VR lenses; a 18-55mm and 55-200mm, and lots of other goodies. I haven't really had the chance to play with it too much, but I plan on maybe taking it out this weekend if the weather is nice. I want to go take some pictures at City Park and Audubon Park. I'll be sure to post pix as soon as I can.

Today we are finally getting our new windows installed, which I'm oddly excited about. Right now I'm sitting here sans air and windows while the guys pull out and replace the old windows. Luckily it's not quite as hot and humid as it was supposed to be, though according to AOL weather it's 80 something degrees right now. These new windows look so nice. I just wish this whole experience had been more pleasant. We've run into some really bad customer service, or should I say lack of customer service from Window World. It's been so bad I doubt I would recommend them to anyone else. With having 30 windows in our house, and the cost to replace those 30 windows we should have been treated a bit better!

Today my oncologists office called. My insurance denied approval for my follow-up PET scan, so instead we are going to do a CAT scan on Tuesday. I will meet with the doctor the following day to get the results. Let's hope this new breast cancer medicine has actually been working for the last 6 months and my scan comes back clear. I can't bear to go through this cancer shit again. Twice in a lifetime is twice too many, know what I mean? Though I have been neglecting my blog the last 2 months, I swear to post just as soon as I know the results.....and I promise to at least attempt to blog more often from now on. I've just been putting it off cause there hasn't been much of anything going on in my life, especially anything exciting. But I've had a decline in visits, so I need to step it up!